Alaska Airlines CEO urges veto of Arizona rights bill

Alaska Airlines CEO urges veto of Arizona rights bill

Alaska Airlines CEO urges veto of Arizona rights bill

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by KING 5 News and Associated Press

KING5.com

Posted on February 26, 2014 at 12:43 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 26 at 5:33 PM

The CEO of Alaska Airlines has written a letter to Arizona’s governor asking her to veto a bill that would add protections for people who assert their religious beliefs in refusing service to gays.

The governor faces a Saturday deadline to either sign Senate Bill 1062 or use her veto stamp.

“We believe the proposed legislation, regardless of its intent, will have a chilling effect on travel to Arizona and negatively impact the state’s economy in other says,” wrote Brad Tilden. “This divisive law implies that all are not welcome, that diversity is not tolerated, and that a healthy business climate is an acceptable sacrifice to special interests.”

The bill allows any business, church or person to cite the law as a defense in any action brought by the government or individual claiming discrimination. Supporters call the bill a slight tweak to the state's existing religious freedom law, which does not extend protections to people based on sexual orientation.

Brewer has been under increasing pressure to veto the proposal passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature. The proposal passed with support from all but three House Republicans and all 17 GOP state senators. Three of those senators, however, reversed course Monday and called for the governor to veto the SB1062.

In a tweet from her official twitter account late Tuesday, the governor said: "I assure you, as always, I will do the right thing for the State of Arizona."

Seattle-based Alaska Airlines says it has 228 employees in Arizona and operates 20-peak season daily flights to Phoenix and Tucson from Seattle, Portland and Anchorage.

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